Social Justice Advocates Handbook: A Guide to Gender Understanding I'm Heading to Cairo

The Genderbread Person v2.0

by Sam Killermann · 221 comments

in Edugraphics

Heads up! I wrote a book all about gender that builds on the concepts I introduced with this Genderbread Person. If you appreciate this, you’ll love this book.

Hundreds of comments, ditto emails, ditto Facebook messages and Twitter tweeters and in-person holla-atchas and I feel like I’m finally in a place to release this.  Without further ado, I give you the new and improved Genderbread Person!

The Genderbread Person v2.1

(click for larger size)

Depending on what you folks have to say after checking this out and reading the rationale below, I’ll be updating the Breaking through the Binary article and uploading a printer-friendly version of the new graphic.  But first, let’s rationalize.

Let’s break this thing down.

I would really like to see this model replace all instances of the old one.  It’s more accurate, more inclusive, and still just as accessible (adorable).  I’m calling it the “-Ness” Model (independent unidirectional linear continua model seemed wordy), and it overcomes most of the hiccups of the old Genderbread (continua-based), and other models (2D plots, universe models, matrices, venn diagrams, etc.).

More accurate

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus is a funny expression (and scientifically dubious), but it actually nails down the strength of this model.  Two planets, not two poles of one planet.  Placing man/masculine/male on one end of something (continuum, 2D plot, etc.) and woman/feminine/female on the other (as I did with the old model) creates and reinforces a fallacy central to gender misunderstanding: to be more of one, you need to be less of the other.  That’s incorrect.  You can have both.  You can have your genderbread and eat it, too.

Get my book!
Let’s take “Gender Identity” for our example.  I identify as a man, but I identify with a lot of what it means to be a woman.  I’m sensitive, kind, familial, and I really like dark chocolate (kidding — stuff’s disgusting).  Possessing this “woman-ness” doesn’t make me any less of a man.  But it’s a large part of my gender identity, and those traits affect my life and influence my decisions as much and more than many of my “man-ness” does.

This model allows one to define their gender in a way that accounts for varying intensities of -ness.  Identifying with aspects of femininity doesn’t make you less masculine, it makes you more feminine.  To understand gender, and in turn create a safer space for people of all genders, we need to realize that feminine and masculine aren’t in a tug of war, they’re separate arenas.

More inclusive

What was lacking in the old Genderbread Person was the ability to define intensities of identification, or the amount of -ness one possesses.  What’s lacking in other models is the ability to define intensity independently for the two major aspects of gender.  Our new model comes up spades in both.

Let’s take “Attraction” for our example.  We know that most people aren’t 100% straight or gay.  A continuum of gay to straight (think Kinsey) leaves us with bi- in the middle.  What about folks who are pansexual?  Asexual?  Mostly asexual?  Hypersexual?  None of those identities can be mapped on our old model.  Ditto goes for folks who are agendered, pangendered, two-spirited, and the list goes on.

The amount of -ness is, in many cases, as crucial to one’s identity as which -ness they possess.  A man who is hypersexually attracted to women and a man who is attracted to women both may identify as “straight,” but there is no question that they are two different men.

Just as adorable

While we upped the ante on accuracy and inclusivity, we did our best not to compromise what was arguably the most effective aspect of the old Genderbread Person: ‘e is freaking adorable!  The original genderbread I baked a few months ago has been gobbled up well over 3 million times (that I can account for), and I attribute the wealth of that interest to the fact that it was easy to understand and visually appealing.

While this one is a bit harder to understand at first glance — mostly due to the fact that we’re using a method we created, instead of a standard graph — most people in our test group got it (even “non-mathy” people).  So that’s good.  It’s an introduction, after all, and we know how important introductions are.

Due gratitude and a huge thank you

This was a tough nut to crack.  I want to give a massive kudos to everyone who provided input for this new model.  I really believe it’ll take up the mantle of the old one and continue it’s globetrotting social justice tour.  The biggest thanks of all goes to Karen Rayne, who, in an hour over coffee, helped me do what dozens of hours pouring over emails and comments couldn’t: make everything in my head make sense on paper.

What do you think?

Did we nail it?  Are there a few tweaks you’d recommend?  Or did I fall flat on my face so hard I jumbled my brain and am now incapable of realizing how far off this is from good?  Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Sam Killermann

Sam is a writer and performer who uses those skills as an ally to advance progress in the realms of LGBT equality and social justice. He tours the country speaking to college students about stereotypes, prejudice, and oppression, and writes for this site when he's at home in Austin, TX.

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  • Sevan Bussell

    No one has made a single comment yet? Seriously? Wow.

    I for one…think you nailed it! As a bigender pansexual who expresses hirself fluidly…I’m in love with this! I’m going to try it out on some youth I’m speaking to about being allies for transgender people and I’ll let ya know how it goes over with them. :)

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      That makes me smile, Sevan!  I was surprised by the lack of comments, too, but sometimes no news is good news :)

      Let me know how it goes.  I’ll be speaking to a young group of folks in a few days as well, and I’ll be bringing this version along with me.

      • Sevan Bussell

        Will do! The presentation is two fold: One night for the youth that attend this LGBT center, and then the next day a presentation for the volunteer staff of the center. Apparently…none of them know much about gender! But they’re willing, ready and able to learn so it should be good. They know they don’t know much, and so they’ve invited me, my spouse (trans female), two FtMs and another MtF to speak and share. So it should be a good mix and a great presentation! I’ll definitely report back.

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          Holy cow!  Sounds like they’re getting an impressively-experienced panel.  They’re bound to walk away with a new (and more accurate) understanding of all this complex stuff.

          • Sevan Bussell

            Ok! So. I’m back from presenting and holy cow!! I used 3 different graphics in addition to personal stories. I started with this: http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/candiussell/graphics/tumblr_lzi3lioLoD1rpddhko1_1280.jpg then this: http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/candiussell/graphics/The_Idea_Fund_Transgender_Umbrella_800w_600h.jpg then ended with this genderbread person. 

            The youth LOVED the earth image and it really broke the ice in a very easy way. (I know you didn’t make that one..but just sharing..) then we used the “transgender umbrella” image to break down some of the words and give descriptions. Then I explained the gender bread person and it *did* definitely take some explanation. The youth weren’t completely new to gender ideas and concepts, but were pretty new and I wanted to just see how they reacted to the image. So I watched them check it out and there were some blank stares. They were into it, and the first comment was “awwww cute!!!” so that’s good. With explanation we got some lightbulb moments and some really great comments and questions stemming from the image. 
            The next day I spoke to the adult volunteers of the youth center and they weren’t into the genderbread person near as much. They listened intently and had some great questions but the graphics didn’t interest them near as much. 
            So I thought I’d share! I’m interested to see how your presentation went with it Sam. :)

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            I’m happy to hear that it went well, and that you had such a positive experience!  I have seen that Transgender Umbrella and i think it’s cute and I like it a lot.  A great tool!

            I’m a little more hesitant about the gender world, though.  The definition for cisgender, for example, is a bit misleading.  And I’m not sure how I feel about the analogy the image is based on.  It seems to reinforce what I feel to be an inaccurate and destructive idea that one can “choose” in this manner.  This is the idea that leads to reform clinics and misunderstanding and fear and other bad stuff.  I’d have to think it through a bit more, and I’d be happy to chat it out with you :)

            And I’m not that surprised about the adults vs. youth comparison.  The adults already know about this stuff, why would they listen? ;)

            My chat with the new genderbread person went well!  I did a bit more of an intro than I normally would (to prepare for the new continua in place of traditional this-to-that continua), but once I got through the intro the group clicked with each aspect even better than usual.  They didn’t fall into any of my traps at the end, either (plotting points on the different continua and asking where corresponding points should be plotted on attraction, for example — the correct answer is “How could we know that?”), which was unusual and fantastic.

          • Sevan

             I can see your point if you’re to just look at the world image and take from it what you will. I think with the addition of the explanation in the presentation I’d like to think I conveyed it in a way that spoke away from the concept of choice. (though how could you know that!? You weren’t there.)The way I addressed the graphic was to look at country of origin vs being deposited into a culture and language that makes no sense to you. If I (as an American) were dropped into Spain (for example) I wouldn’t do so hot. I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know much about the culture and as such…I’d be very uncomfortable. I’d long to go home and be around language and culture that was comfortable to me. In the same way…people “travel” through sex (ie: transition) or are comfortable in their “country of origin” (Cis gender) I explained it (and experience the graphic to mean..) that life, and indeed gender/sex can be a journey.
            I don’t see choice inferred in the graphic anywhere.
            How might you describe cis-gender? I’m quite curious. I broke it down to it’s simplest term (in my presentation) Comfortable In Skin. I explained that majority of people are looking for just that. That transition could be looked at that simply. Of course it’s far more complicated than that, and is no where near as easy as “today I’m going to be comfortable in my skin. I choose it!” It’s action, it’s work. But that’s what we’re striving for at the root of it. I feel like the description on the graphic pretty well expresses that idea.

    • Karen Rayne

       I’m excited to hear you like it so much too, Sevan!

  • Elle Reed

    I’m not sure how this scale gauges who I’m attracted to…generally speaking a range from sporty/soft butch jock women to butch women to genderqueer to transmen…
    I do like that it is no longer on a binary, but how would you visualize who I’m attracted to?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      I would do something like this, Elle.  Just a guess on the degree, but let me know if it aligns with how you feel.

      • Elle Reed

         Fantastic. The word groupings were throwing me off. :-)

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          No problem.  They’re separate for the people who see the difference, but grouped for the simplicity of the rest.  When I do the full write-up for this graphic, I’ll have a separate article dedicated to just that aspect of the model.

  • Chuckbka

    Love it! This is the first I’ve seen of Genderbread, shared on FB from Our Whole Lives. Thanks for the creativity and very clever design!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Happy to hear it!  I really appreciate OWL’s program, so it’s nice to hear some positive feedback from someone with experience in such a solid foundation.

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  • RomyD

    I like the fact that straight and gay both have the same positions on the attracted to scales

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      I like the fact that you like that.  I threw it in as an intentional curveball.  One of the things I like about this model (and the idea of labeling attraction as androphilic and gynephilic) is how it can help take the edge of non-straight non-cis identities by highlighting similarities with their straight, cis- counterparts.

      • Sevan Bussell

        One of the youth I spoke to in our presentation noticed that and asked me about it. I hadn’t noticed that right off (they don’t miss anything; those youth!!) and used it as a segue into androphilic/gynephilic language. They seemed to really get it…but perhaps that was a bit more “new words” than they could handle in one evening cuz some eyes did gloss over…but they were with me through the whole presentation!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.alan.taylor Steven Alan Taylor

    As a researcher of gender and sexual complexity, my instinct tells me that the spectra are even more complicated than this!  But I cannot pinpoint it, and I must say that someone even going to the trouble you have is exceptional for most Internet representations of the matter.  You’ve given it much thought, much sensitivity, and I love it!  Heck, I could see a researcher using your schemata in a conceputalization for some study some day!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Steven, 

      Thanks for the comment.  My instinct tells me the same thing, but I’m also unable to pinpoint exactly what’s awry.  This will suffice for the meantime, while I continue deconstructing and trying to wrap my mind around this.

      And I appreciate your sentiment!  I’d be honored (if not amused) to see the Genderbread Person in an ACPA/APA/etc citation :)Be sure to let me know if you make any progress pinpointing what we’re lacking here.  I’d love to chat about it.

      sK

  • Julián Andrés Salazar

    Is possible traslate this page in spanish language?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Julian, I don’t have that capacity, but I can certainly produce a spanish version if someone did the translation for me.  With the new words I made up, I would need someone who has an expert understanding of spanish and english to make them make sense.

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  • http://twitter.com/lksbat Lauren Stephenson

    I think this is really cool and a great step in the right direction. But I have a few suggestions for improvement. First of all I think it neglects the dimension of time and makes it seem like a person’s “position” never changes. That’s something you might want to think about working in. Also, I have issues with the “biological sex” distinction and the placing of its graphic on top of the genitalia. This creates issues especially for people who have undergone surgery to change their physical gender. I would suggest splitting this into two separate scales one for physical gender and one for chromosomal gender.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Lauren, 

      Thanks for the comment and even more for the suggestions.  A couple of things to consider, that I would like to hear your thoughts on.

      You’re right that I don’t have anything on the model to delineate change over time.  This is for two reasons.  One, I simply tried to keep out everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.  Less is more.  The other reason is that for most people, gender ID, bio, and attraction tend to remain constant throughout their lives.  While some do change and develop in these ways over time, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that these things can be *changed* over time.  That is, the idea that one can be changed from genderqueer to cisgendered, or gay to straight.

      As for the bio sex concern, that’s a legitimate one.  A lot of what indicates biological sex exists in our lower abdomens, but not all of it, surely.  This was a concern that was voiced a lot about the old model.  If you can think of a better way to visually represent “biological sex” (in a way that differentiates it from gender ID and expression) for lay person understanding, I’m interested.  Regarding your suggestion for separate scales for chromosomal sex and physical sex, I’m not sure if that’d be wise.  The more you desimplify this stuff, the more complicated it gets.  And bio sex is a lot more than just karyotypes and phenotypes.    You could easily create a graphic solely dedicated to what I have labeled as “biological sex” — and even that wouldn’t likely cover it.  I’m not sure adding another two scales onto this one, and inevitably confusing X% of the people who see this as their first intro to gender, would do more good than bad.

      I hope this doesn’t come off as harsh or standoffish.  Absolutely not my intent :) 

      Thoughts?

  • Tempestlight

    Perfect! :D I like that it shows the whole range of things and it makes something so complex accessible and simple :D

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the comment!  I’m happy you like it :)

  • an ally

    Hi Sam, thanks for this, good work! I like the graphic because it shows how complex and diverse humans are – I reckon it’s a great educational tool!

    There is one thing that I have some trouble with though: the terms “man-ness”, “woman-ness”, “masculinity” and “femininity” are gender essentialist. Your statement “I identify as a man, but I identify with a lot of what it means to be a woman.  I’m sensitive, kind, familial, [...]” seems to say that these attributes are essentially or inherently feminine, which reinforces cultural gender stereotypes. Your statement might lead someone to infer that “typical” “males” lack sensitivity or kindness or that “females” lack in aggression and dominance.

    In order to make it at all possible to talk about “masculinity” and ‘femininity”, we need to agree on what definition of these words we should use. I don’t really have an answer here… help!! It’s obvious that societal norms and culture attaches certain meanings to these concepts which gives us a starting point at least, but some of those meanings are very problematic as you know: hurtful stereotypes are exactly what we’re fighting after all!

    I would love to hear your (and others’) ideas about these issues.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hey there.  Thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking comment.  This is something I’ve struggled with a lot (as I’m sure you could have guessed).  Let me give you an idea of where I stand at this point.

      The idea of dismantling stereotypes by reinforcing stereotypes seems, at first, counter productive.  The ultimate questions is this: is there an inherent, biological connection between certain traits, dispositions, and attitudes, and gender?  Conventional, traditional, and modern research says there is.  Rigorous sociologists may argue otherwise — that all gender (and associated traits) are socially constructed.  

      If there is a connection between “gender” (we can talk about what that word means ad nauseum) and traits, dispositions, and attitudes, then the model above is a does-more-good-than-bad tool for deconstructing gender.  If there’s no connection, then the Genderbread Person is definitely part of the problem.

      Based on my experience, intuition, and book-learnin’, I think there is a strong, inherent connection (bio and socio) between one’s gender and one’s traits, dispositions, and attitudes.  If you disagree here, I’d love to chat about this point more.  If you agree (or are unsure), keep reading the rest of this comment :)

      Now, back to the model above, one of the reasons I like this model is because it harnesses the power of cultural understanding of the near-jibberish terms with which I labeled the continua.  This makes for a cleaner graphic (always helpful) and a quicker understanding for the viewer.  

      But at the same time, that can certainly be troublesome, as you were indicating above.  We all have slightly (at least) different understandings of what exactly constitutes “man-ness” or “woman-ness.”  But we also have a pretty solid knowledgebase of gender-based stereotypes to draw from.  Those “woman-ness” things I mentioned I identify with, for example.

      We could attempt create new gender-neutral terms to replace what I have above labeled man-ness and woman-ness.  I toyed around with the idea of things like “estrogenity” and “testosteronity” for a bit.  But after really thinking it through I don’t think gender-neutral terms would be helpful.  Most people strongly identify with the ideas of “man” and “woman.”  And for non-gendered or third gendered folks, gender-neutral terms that convey the same ideas aren’t going to be more applicable than the gendered terms.

      So now that I’ve riffed on this for a bit, I feel like I need to make some sort of a conclusion :)  And here it is: I don’t think we need to worry so much about redefining (or clarifying) what femininity and masculinity are.  I think we have a decent enough understanding of that.  I think we need to worry more about helping people realize that while these ideas may be rooted in stereotypes, individual’s identities aren’t.  In fact, they very, very, VERY rarely fit entirely into either one of these archetypes.  As I say on the graphic, we’re a bit of this and a touch of that.

      Phew!  Thoughts?  Sorry if I’m unclear.  I didn’t proofread :)

      • an ally

        Hi Sam, thanks for your elaborate answer! I’m not at all sure if there is a biological connection between someone’s gender and their traits (leading to folk-wisdom such as “girls are bad at maths” which has no basis in biology as far as I understand)- and it’s a sad fact that this idea has so often been used to defend oppression, but there are strong sociological/cultural connections – for better or worse. Just open any magazine or turn on the tv. :)

        I agree with you that in this case – for the purpose of your graphic – it’s helpful to use these terms as how they are used by society in general: even though that is problematic, a long history of strong gender stereotypes have entrenched certain ideas about what it means to be masculine or feminine which help to illustrate your point. Sadly, a lot of those entrenched ideas boil down to associating power with masculinity and weakness with femininity, so, again it’s an avenue that could easily be abused by bigots and misogynists…

        I love that you conclude by saying that individual identities aren’t rooted in stereotypes – spot on! Rather than saying “we have a good idea what femininity and masculinity are” I’d say it’s more accurate to say we have a reasonable understanding on how society views these concepts – but that’s nitpicking. It doesn’t really show on the outside, but I never really feel like I fit very well, plus it changes over time and depends on context. :)

        Thanks again for your thoughts!

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          Ah hah, so you’re a true social constructionist :)  Happy to hear it.  That’s the fundamental issue I struggle with the most, and I’ve been back and forth on it.

          And thanks for instigating my elaborate response.  Writing these things out and having to rationalize them externally is one of the ways I continue to refine and re-educate my own perspective.  So it’s always helpful.

          There is no question in my mind that traditional gender roles and understanding perpetuate oppression.  That’s why I’m hoping, like I tried to say at the end there, that through this model and conversations like these we will all start to realize the gender “role” is the problem, and not the gender-ness.  Meaning that even if we still associate the term “masculine” with “dominant” and “feminine” with “obedient” (which we likely will for the foreseeable future), we won’t make the assumption that a person we make is either dominant or obedient based on the gender we presume them to be.  Instead we will realize that tendencies to be dominant or obedient are personality traits (like being funny, or eating pizza in bed), and you can’t know what traits a person possesses until you interact with them on the individual level — and the only accurate assumption you can make about a group is that as a group (any group) they have the potential to express EVERY personality trait.

      • http://profiles.google.com/willr7281 Will Robertson

        Hi Sam,

        First, let me say that I think this is a huge step in the right direction. I really appreciate the more nuanced and complex approach that this graphic takes.

        However, I must take issue with this comment. In particular, you said: “The ultimate questions is this: is there an inherent, biological connection between certain traits, dispositions, and attitudes, and gender?  Conventional, traditional, and modern research says there is.  Rigorous sociologists may argue otherwise — that all gender (and associated traits) are socially constructed.”

        I would be grateful if you could produce this research. As someone who is currently doing research on sex, gender, and sexuality from an anthropological perspective, I can tell you that from what I’ve read that this is not the case. Sure, there are connections between the body and gender, but the traits, dispositions, and attitudes that we associate with gender vary in extreme ways across cultures. “Masculine” and “feminine” mean different things not only within a culture, but across cultures. And they change drastically over time. The traits that you are associating with “woman” are not cultural universals and certainly not static things that are produced through biology. This is evident in the ethnographic record, and any introduction to cultural anthropology textbook can provide myriad examples of how varied gender is cross-culturally.

        Further, within a scientific framework, there are scholars who challenge the notion that gender is purely social or biological. I recommend the work of Anne Fausto-Sterling in particular, but also Suzanne Kessler and Katrina Karkazis. Their work demonstrates how we apply gendered understandings to biology and brings into question exactly how innate biological sex really is. Cordelia Fine also has a book out recently on how much of the research–particularly in sexology–is extremely faulty and depends upon gendered understandings to explain sex.

        I should say, I am not a strict constructionist as I tend more toward biocultural approaches, but to say that feminine traits are biological seems to me to be quite off base.

        I do appreciate the work that you’ve put into this, and I think it’s a noble cause. I realize how difficult it is to pin these things down because, frankly, they are un-pin-downable. They are so fluid and complex and nuanced that it makes it hard to talk about them in any sort of definitive way. Thanks for the work you do.

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          Hi Will, 

          Thank you for the comment, and for challenging that statement.  I realize now, as I’m viewing it through your lens and my non-sleepy one, that I oversimplified and misrepresented what I intended to say.  Let me see if I can say it better on a few hours of sleep and a full belly :)

          When I first started reviewing research on all this, several years ago, I was most interested in the impetus.  That is, what is at the root of “gendered” behavior, and why does gendered behavior exist cross-culturally (not the same norms, certainly, but dichotomous behavior in general).

          I am really scraping to find some of the specific articles I read, but I remember spending a lot of time reading the the journal “Hormones and Behavior.”  Odds are, you’ve probably seen anything I read (I was really just cruising through the “heavy-hitters”).  Basically, just do an ebsco search for “sex differences in brain” or “biosocial development of gender”.  

          A lot of what I read pointed to the idea that gender differences stem from biological (sex) differences.  To make a specific example, consider child birth.  When you break it all the way down, estrogen is integral in developing a body that can bear a child.  And in every culture (that I’m aware of) child birth generates specific and unique societal roles.  Estrogen –> Child Birth –> Specific Social Roles.  It’s in this way that biological and “gendered” traits, dispositions, etc. are connected.

          And while the way that sex expresses in gender varies from culture to culture, it’s near universal that it happens (am I right?  You’d know better than I here).  So while the specific traits will vary culturally (e.g., my examples of “woman-ness”), there will be a cultural reservoir of traits one can pull from to make sense of the continua in the model.

          I’m going to leave it at that for now.  I’d really like to hear your thoughts.  This is fun.  It’s like an oral defense for a dissertation I never wrote, and it’s making it quite apparent to me that I need to refresh/update myself on the literature.

          Again, I appreciate the comment and the callout.  I need both.

          sK

          • http://profiles.google.com/willr7281 Will Robertson

            Hi Sam,

            I get where you’re coming from, and I think you’re correct on some things and incorrect on others.

            You are correct to state that divisions along gender lines are a cultural universal. But that’s pretty much where the universality ends. I highly recommend the work of Cordelia Fine and Anne Fausto-Sterling, who both discuss hormones and brain differences in great detail. They have both found that there’s really not much behind the research in those areas. Most of them have methodological or theoretical issues and, as Fausto-Sterling points out, utilize gendered understandings to make sense of sex (for a really great example of this, you can do a google search for Emily Martin’s “The Egg and the Sperm”–there’s a free copy of it in PDF format online).

            So, what I see in this discussion is you using your cultural understandings of gender to make sense of biology (in this case, child birth). But not all cultures view motherhood like that. Estrogen is present in both males and females, just in different amounts. The idea that estrogen leads to specific social roles of motherhood is unfounded as there are no universal social roles of motherhood. What is more likely is that there is a biocultural production of social roles of motherhood–that is, biology and culture are co-producing these things. It is unfair to say that gender stems from biology because, as the authors I have mentioned clearly demonstrate, our understandings of biology are often gendered.

            If you see that these things express differently from culture to culture but still think that the traits stem from biology, I would challenge you to explain how people with basically the same biology would have radically different social traits. If estrogen creates specific mothering social roles, why are there different cultural norms surrounding mothering?

            I really cannot recommend enough looking into some of the anthropological literature on sex, gender, and sexuality. It sheds a lot of light on literature from other disciplines by bringing into question the cultural norms that people take for granted in researching these things. I can give you a whole list of reading if you’re interested.

            By the way, I’m doing two lectures on gender this week, and I’m using this in both of them. So please don’t think that I’m trying to poo-poo on your work. I think this is a great way to introduce these concepts to young college kids who mostly haven’t even thought about gender in any sort of critical way. I also showed the older image to a graduate class and everyone liked it a lot. I’ll send this updated one to them as I think you’ve addressed most of our critiques. ;) Thanks again!

          • an ally

            I am so glad I posted my comment – both your contributions are amazing, thorough, thought provoking and very inspiring. Thank you!!!!!

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            Ditto!  Happy that I was able to have this convo, so thanks for starting it :)

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            Will, I don’t think I can make it apparent how much I appreciate this — you taking the time and sharing your expertise on these issues.  I don’t think you’re poo-pooing my work at all, just setting me straight.  So don’t hold back :)

            I just ordered “Delusions of Gender” and downloaded the Martin .pdf.  I have a feeling that after reading these pieces, I may look back at what I’ve said above and will likely try to say one more time below and think “what was I thinking?”, but there’s one thing I want to ask.

            Drawing on the wealth of literature you’ve studied, particularly the more recent literature debasing the studies I was referring to, are there no cross-cultural similarities in the impact of estro/testo on the brain?

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            Are you familiar with PJ Zak’s research on oxytocin? Check it out if not and let me know what you think. If so, do you take issue with his methodology?

          • Rebecca

            Thankyou… More please :)

            I’m a mature age (well, so they say…) student at uni, and majoring in politics and philosophy.
            I find all this so difficult because they often start at the whole ‘an example of feminine traits are…’, and ‘an example of masculine traits are…’ – when they simply aren’t universal – and not even always accepted in a single culture.

  • http://AdamGVanKirk.com Taigitsune

    This model still perpetuates the notion of gender binary, but is admittedly much closer to the mark.

    What would people who are attracted to intersexed, bigendered, or genderqueer folks mark? How about those who feel they are strongly “other” gendered rather than male or female?

    Perhaps an additional scale on each continuum for “Other/Neutral/Androgynous” would apply for such cases.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Taigitsune, thanks for expressing your concerns.  

      As far as attraction goes, each continuum is pointing towards an array of three options.  For a lot of folks, they’re attracted to all three of those, so they can just plot a point and leave it at that.  But for other folks who aren’t attracted to, for example, males, men, and masculinity, they can circle the ones they are attracted to.  Maybe they are attracted to males, and women/femininity.  That person might self-ID as being attracted to transgendered folks.  You can extrapolate this for just about any example you can think of.

      And the reason I don’t have a third continuum on each model is because there’s 99% no need for one, and it will 100% reinforce the stigma of “abnormal” expressions and identities.  And to what end would it be beneficial?  The only thing I can come up with is for third-gender folks (which would only require an additional continuum on gender ID). 

      I’m sorry that you feel this still reinforces the binary, but I can’t wrap my mind around how you do.  Can you explain that a bit more? 

  • Aleksandros

    Hi there, I’m quite pleased someone’s taken the time out to construct a visual representation of Sexuality, Gender Identity, Gender expression, etc, but I just have a teensy concern about the way asexuality was scribbled in. Since it seems to imply Asexuals are not attracted to anyone at all.

    As a homoromantic asexual, I can assure you that’s not true. Asexuals are just not  sexually attracted to people, but we are capable of romantic attraction. There are Aromantic Asexuals who aren’t attracted to anyone romantically or sexually, but yeah, a lot of us Aces still experience multiple types of attraction. :D Though, I have no suggestion as how to incorporate that idea in your lovely chart, just that it’s a bit bothersome how it looks now in regards to that little note about asexuality.

    Just thought I’d share my 2 cents. :)

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the comment, Alexandros.  For simplicity’s sake,  I had to make a decision to break attraction down into either men/males/masculinity or physical/spiritual/romantic.  While both would be present on a diagram of sexuality (if I were to make one), this graphic is designed to denote gender, so attraction to different aspects of gender seemed more important to me than depicting different aspects of attraction.  If (when?) I make a graphic about sexuality, it will not be lacking :)

      And about the scribbled in aspect of “asexual”, as with every other label I’ve attached to the examples, that’s just one possible combo.  All straight people aren’t attracted to men/males/masculinity, and all bisexual people aren’t attracted to women/females/femininity slightly more than the alternative.  They’re examples of how individuals might plot and identify themselves.  I was hoping this would be clear in the “5 (of infinite) possible plot and label combos” language, but I’ll be sure to make it more clear in the full write-up.

  • Connor

    This might be a little unusual, but what about fluidity and concurrence?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Connor, what about them, exactly?  How does the model account for them?  And concurrence is a new term to me — care to explain?

      • Connor

        I’m not sure if or how they’d fit in, but it words I’ve used to explain the aspects of gender fluidity and/or multi-gender identities.  It probably fits better in gender 201 than 101, so to speak.

        Concurrence… I’m sure there’s a better word for it but I’ve yet to dig one up.  I really hope I’m not the only one’ who’s pulled that word out (it’d be a shame to coin a term anonymously >.>)Concurrence could be described as identifying as multiple elsewise known identities at the same time (concurrently.)If Mx. Genderbread identifies exclusively as one gender without fluctuation, that could be called a static gender.For concurrent, suppose our genderbread person is androgynous.(specifically identifying as both male/masculine and female/feminine) They might have a static identity, but could also be said to have a concurrent identity – they experience these simultaneously.
        A Bigender-bread person might be fluid in – changing between – gender(s.)  Or they could be simultaneously (concurrently) two genders, without fluctuation.Another, [hopefully not confusing] example could be our Bigender genderbread person identifying as fluid with one of the genders they gravitate towards is androgynous, as concurrently male/masculine & female/feminine.(This is the way I’ve described my gender, at times.)It may be an unusual way to look at it.  I’m not sure if it would help all situations, but can clear up some confusing ones.I love how much easier calling oneself genderqueer can be.

        • Connor

          o.o why did the spacing not save?  T_T so much harder to read!

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  • Sare Goldstein

    I am very, very impressed. The first version was a good basic model, but I felt it left out a lot of identities. This one is (of course) not all encompassing, because everyone’s individual identity is so very individual, but it explains the basics and a little more so very well, and is so inclusive! I can actually place myself most places on this chart! The only thing I would add in is another arrow under attraction, for agender/androgyny, but otherwise, I applaud you! Thank you so much for this brilliant graphic!

  • sunna

    Wow, this diagram is really great, Sam, and I love the insight, expertise, and thoughtfulness of the comments here, too. Whether it is all “accurate” and all-inclusive or not, you have clearly succeeded in achieving the bottom line, which is opening minds and hearts to the infinite complexity of humanity.

    I have some confusion about the Biological Sex spectrum set, which goes from “asex” to “female-ness/male-ness.” I thought that the word “asexual” was only used to describe those who are not sexually attracted to (though perhaps, or perhaps not, romantically attracted to) other people. That is, I would have expected the word “asexual” to be where “nobody” is on the Attracted To spectrum. Are there people who do not have ANY sex? That’s not possible, right? Just a theoretical possibility inherent in this double-spectrum model? I find it a little confusing since the other three spectrum sets do stretch from one real-world possibility to another. Or maybe I’m totally missing something, in which case I ask you to pardon my ignorance!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hey Sunna, 

      Thanks for the comment and the encouragement.  The reason I used the term asex instead of nongender or genderless (two existing alternatives) was to keep the focus there on sexual biology, not socio-psycho identity.  While I don’t know of any cases where someone has been born devoid of any “biological sex” and survived (and also doubt it’s possible), we are all born with varying degrees of male-ness and female-ness.  The only way to depict this variation is through having a low end and a high end, so while nobody will likely be plotting at 0 on both male-ness and female-ness, that end of the continuum is important.

      Make sense?  Am I missing something?  Set me straight!  :)

      sK

  • http://twitter.com/Tenji95 Theresa Redford jr.

    It looks cute! Can we make it an interactive program that people can click on and play with? I WANNA PLAY WITH IT!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      I would love that!  (and I’m planning on it)  If you know a programmer who is willing to work for thin mints, send me some contact info.  Until I learn the necessary languages, it’ll have to wait :)

      • Laurel Raven

        If I had more skills, I would totally code it up for some thin mints for you!  It’s a shame I don’t have enough skill yet to tackle something like this…

      • Jay Irvine

        Easy-peasy. Technically, at least. Deciding what point/combination on the scales relates to which terms/labels would be potentially problematic, because different people have different definitions of some of them, but that’s no reason not to try. We do the best we can, and whatnot.

      • Jay Irvine

        http://webaffair.net/genderbread

        IE 9 and lower and Firefox haven’t yet implemented the slider controls I used, so you have to type in a percentage in the boxes, but it should work perfectly well in IE 10, Safari, and Chrome. Most mobile browsers will implement the controls (at least, if you’ve upgraded recently), but I haven’t done anything to make the layout mobile-friendly.

        • raichu

          Ugh THIS IS SO AWESOMEEEE

        • Kyle

          This is awesome! But, there are some problems with the labels changing. Like, I was just playing about with it in Chrome (maybe I just overloaded it) and with the sexual/romantic sliders, putting them all at zero, didn’t give asexual/aromantic – it just left it at the last label. Still love it. Just wondering if it’s something easy to fix or not?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      I would love that!  (and I’m planning on it)  If you know a programmer who is willing to work for thin mints, send me some contact info.  Until I learn the necessary languages, it’ll have to wait :)

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  • Guest

    >| You’re still separating sex from “male and female” to “male-identified” and “female-identified”. None of that shit is okay. Everyone’s sex is identified, but the majority of the world thinks that only applies to trans* people. Cis people get to have a sex that just is. And that’s what you’re demonstrating here some more.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the comment.  Yes, that is what I’m demonstrating.  Can you explain a bit more why it’s not okay?  Or, more pointedly, can you explain how this would be a better educational tool if I removed the self-ID labels altogether?  

      Most cis people could never relate to the idea of self-identifying their biological sex, because, as you implied, it’s assigned at birth.  Then it ends there.  Even if it was incorrectly (or incomprehensibly) applied.  

      Trans people are more likely to relate to the idea of self-identifying their biological sex, later in life, regardless of what label was assigned to them at birth (male or female).

      A lot of folks would argue that biological sex is 100% objective and wouldn’t leave any room for self-identification.  Would you rather that?  No spectra for sex, just three options: male, female, intersex?

      • Bobb

        I may be wrong, but I think Guest is saying that you shouldn’t have “male”, “female”, “male-ID” and “female-ID”….Instead you should ONLY have “male-ID” and “female-ID” or ONLY have “male” and “female”…..because these two (of infinite) biological sex combo/labels are the same. By distinguishing these two, you are reinforcing the idea that someone who undergoes sex change surgery to become, say “female” is somehow less “female” than someone born “female.”

        Cis people might not be familiar with the idea of self-ID. But equally they won’t be familiar with the idea of ‘being assigned’.

        But ask a cis person what sex they are, and they will very quickly and easily be able to self ID their own biological sex!

        Finally, there must be room for self identification. If there is only “male”, “female”, or “intersex” then I challenge you to define what exactly makes one’s biology “male” and what make’s one’s biology “female”. Is it chromosomes? Is it reproductive organs? Is it hormone levels? Is it hairiness? Voice pitch? See how this could get problematic?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the comment.  Yes, that is what I’m demonstrating.  Can you explain a bit more why it’s not okay?  Or, more pointedly, can you explain how this would be a better educational tool if I removed the self-ID labels altogether?  

      Most cis people could never relate to the idea of self-identifying their biological sex, because, as you implied, it’s assigned at birth.  Then it ends there.  Even if it was incorrectly (or incomprehensibly) applied.  

      Trans people are more likely to relate to the idea of self-identifying their biological sex, later in life, regardless of what label was assigned to them at birth (male or female).

      A lot of folks would argue that biological sex is 100% objective and wouldn’t leave any room for self-identification.  Would you rather that?  No spectra for sex, just three options: male, female, intersex?

  • http://www.boredomandlaziness.org Nick Coghlan

    Very informative, even to someone like me that knows relatively little about these issues (and thank you for taking the time to help those of us that have the privilege of being ignorant of these issues to understand them better).

    However, I found some of the chosen examples and a few other elements confusing or distracting rather than enlightening.

    While the “-ness” suffixes make the labels more accurate, I think they obscure the intent of the graphic rather than aiding it (and, indeed, you dropped them when abbreviating the terms while attempting to describe what people are attracted to).

    You switch the order of the male/masculine and female/feminine dimensions between the various aspects. It would be easier to follow if the order was consistent at least across the first three aspects (e.g. Woman & Man, Feminine & Masculine, Female & Male, Women/Femininity/Females & Men/Masculinity/Males).

    The “man” example would be clearer if it was a simple mirror of the “woman” example. At the moment it’s a less extreme form of “genderqueer”. I suspect it’s to make a point that even someone who self-identifies as a “man” overall may still identify with some aspects of woman-ness – in that was the aim, it might be better if the second example was *also* captioned as “woman”, just with a non-zero level of self-identification as a man.

    The “straight” and “gay” examples are actually “straight woman” and “gay man”. I’m not sure that having to draw those two the same way is a good thing. Perhaps those two dimensions should go back to being labelled “Heterosexual” and “Homosexual” as they were in Genderbread v 1.0? Although, as you noted in your answer to another comment, attraction to others is really more complicated than can be shown with only 2 dimensions to play with, since the “self-similar” and “different” attraction can vary across all of gender identity, gender expression and biological sex. A different way to tackle this might be to label the first example as “straight/gay”, then add its mirror image *also* labelled as “straight/gay”.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Nick, 

      Thanks for the comment and the suggestions.  I’ll be releasing the write-up for this graphic soon (waiting on a couple more people to weigh in), and I will definitely take these into consideration as I make the next revision (particularly adjusting the order of the male v female top/bottoms).

      sK

  • http://www.boredomandlaziness.org Nick Coghlan

    Very informative, even to someone like me that knows relatively little about these issues (and thank you for taking the time to help those of us that have the privilege of being ignorant of these issues to understand them better).

    However, I found some of the chosen examples and a few other elements confusing or distracting rather than enlightening.

    While the “-ness” suffixes make the labels more accurate, I think they obscure the intent of the graphic rather than aiding it (and, indeed, you dropped them when abbreviating the terms while attempting to describe what people are attracted to).

    You switch the order of the male/masculine and female/feminine dimensions between the various aspects. It would be easier to follow if the order was consistent at least across the first three aspects (e.g. Woman & Man, Feminine & Masculine, Female & Male, Women/Femininity/Females & Men/Masculinity/Males).

    The “man” example would be clearer if it was a simple mirror of the “woman” example. At the moment it’s a less extreme form of “genderqueer”. I suspect it’s to make a point that even someone who self-identifies as a “man” overall may still identify with some aspects of woman-ness – in that was the aim, it might be better if the second example was *also* captioned as “woman”, just with a non-zero level of self-identification as a man.

    The “straight” and “gay” examples are actually “straight woman” and “gay man”. I’m not sure that having to draw those two the same way is a good thing. Perhaps those two dimensions should go back to being labelled “Heterosexual” and “Homosexual” as they were in Genderbread v 1.0? Although, as you noted in your answer to another comment, attraction to others is really more complicated than can be shown with only 2 dimensions to play with, since the “self-similar” and “different” attraction can vary across all of gender identity, gender expression and biological sex. A different way to tackle this might be to label the first example as “straight/gay”, then add its mirror image *also* labelled as “straight/gay”.

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  • Sarah P.

    This is one of the best examples of a successfully revision that I’ve ever seen. I really appreciate that you went back to fix some of the things that didn’t work so well in version 1, this one is much better in my opinion. In particular, I love the way your new model breaks away from the idea that traditional binary categories are “opposites” and that you can be both completely “manly/masculine/male” and completely “womanly/feminine/female” at the same time. The one thing that I think would be good to add is some signifier that identity can change over time, that your point along all the various “-ness” lines is fluid and moves back and forth throughout one’s life. Other than that, this really speaks to my experience of gender identity. Thanks for working so hard to create a useful _and_ accurate graphic.

  • Robyn

    I’ll repeat what I said on Facebook:

    “I disagree with the label of
    “Agender” relating to expression. Agender means absence of gender – like
    atheist is absence of belief in god and asexual is absence of
    sexuality. I do not believe that gender is a real thing – and in my gut I
    know this to be true. Thus I have no gender for their is no gender to
    belong to.

    This has nothing to do with expression. I know I’m
    complaining about it but I rather they swap Agender and Nongendered
    here. It makes much more sense :/”

    You say that “genderless” is on the gender identity scale. Okay. But genderless is near identical to Agender.
    Atheists are godless.
    Asexuals are, naturally inclined to be, sexless.
    Agenders are genderless.

    *Sigh* I do thank you for doing this but I really just want to be called what I am. I am Agender. Not Nongendered. Because that implies that I believe in gender which I don’t.

  • Deborah Gallagher

    Women who love other women are not “gay”–we are lesbians. That’s akin to saying “men” represents all people. Nope. By the way, it’s 2012. Otherwise, thank you for this.

    • joey

      I have several cis-female friends who are attracted to women, who call themselves gay (or queer). One of my friends who says she’s gay doesn’t identify so much with the word lesbian. Gay is not used as a gendered word by the people I know.

      • Elle Reed

         I am also a cisgender woman who prefers the terms queer or gay over lesbian. I think the important thing to remember is that only you can determine how you identify. So use whichever terms you feel best apply to you.

    • switcher

      While you may identify as a lesbian you can’t say that all women you are attracted to women would like to be called a lesbian. Everybody gets to choose their own identifiers. I know a lot of women who don’t call themselves lesbians for all sorts of personal reasons. 

  • Nimisha Patil

    This is really great! Just one thing…could you make sexual attraction and romantic attraction two different scales? It would be great to have more crossromantic visibility, so that people know asexuals can be romantically attracted to people (or not) and sexual aromantic people also exist.

    • switcher

      yes yes yes. I second this add something that separates romantic attraction from sexual attraction. As it it very possible to be sexually attracted to men and women but only romantically attracted to women or any combination therein.  This would include loads of people who don’t identify as “bi” because they aren’t necessarily attracted to both sexes/genders in the same way. (and for the reasons pointed out above but I see no reason to repeat what was already said)

    • Casye

      Agreed! I am asexual, but I’m demi/panromantic, and it would be nice to see a scale on here that seperates out sexual and romantic attraction, because they aren’t always the same, especially for aces. (Though I know a couple aromanic sexuals, too!)

    • Rachel

      I was going to say the same thing. I’m bisexual homoromantic and not many people have heard of the whole “romantic orientation” thing which can make my orientation difficult to explain.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.hervert.3 Matthew Hervert

        Meaning you have meaningful attraction to men but sexual attraction to women?

        • http://www.facebook.com/carla.fuqua Carla Fuqua

          Assuming Rachel is a woman, she is sexually attracted to men and women, but prefers emotionally (I’m interpreting romantically as emotionally) connecting with women. So without the romantic attraction, I’d imagine the situation would call for something like lovers or one-night stands. Basically, sex without romance.

          (Sorry if I’m wrong, Rachel! I admit I made a few assumptions. The intent of my comment is to help Matthew understand relationship possibilities, not to assume I could define you.)

        • conflictfree

          I know this is a really old post, but I just wanted to point out that saying romance equals “meaningful attraction” but sexual doesn’t is extremely problematic. I’ve had sexual relationships that meant more to me than some romantic relationships (and visa versa) – and I’m far from the only one. Attraction is meaningful if you find meaning in it, full stop.

    • Meia Krane

      I was going to point this out as well, then again as an aromantic asexual I think it’d be cool to talk about other forms of attraction that are neither sexual or romantic, but I also think that would sort of cramp the genderbread person since what I love of it is the simplicity of it, But yes including romantic attraction an separating it from the sexual attraction would be most useful.

    • Cari

      Agreed! It would be nice to see romantic and sexual attraction be separate scales. Still, this is by far the most inclusive model I’ve seen so far. And it’s cute! :)

    • Cast

      I think we need to show the difference between being attracted more to one end of the spectrum and being more or less sexual. The way this illustrates it says basically being more attracted to men and more attracted to women vs. not being attracted to either of them. But people can be in the middle without being less sexual. I don’t think these binary sliders illustrate it any better than the old ones. It just needs to illustrate that one can be at multiple points on each spectrum or moving back and forth between points or the such.
      Pansexual is not the same thing as bisexual except more sexual. That’s a misconception that is very problematic. Pansexual means you could potentially be attracted to anyone anywhere on the sex spectrum. Bisexual means you are attracted to people within the binary of the male and female sexes. If you have any sexuality at all you could be either bisexual or pansexual or heterosexual or homosexual or anything else.

      • Ettina Kitten

        Doesn’t this one already do it? I mean, if you’re a 10 on gynephilic and a 0 on androphilic, versus a 5 on both, it adds up to being the same amount sexual. And if you’re a 2 on both, then you’re grey-asexual bisexual.

      • Ryokhael

        I disagree with your assessment of pansexuality. I identify as a pansexual. What this means to me is that the outer form of a being is irrelevant to my ability to be sexually attracted to them. If an alien being of indeterminate gender were to land on the planet, I fully expect that I could find them sexually appealing regardless of their inability to be classified as male or female in our very limited binary definition of gender within our species.

        Furthermore, even our own species does not fall entirely into one or the other. There are those born with both sets of genitalia and those born with none. They are in a distinctly separate classification from male and female. We simply have yet to be bothered with further honing our gender classification process because as a whole we don’t seem to think there are ‘enough’ people in these yet-to-exist categories to bother defining them.

        • Ryokhael

          I must apologize, Cast. I misread one very important sentence that changed the entire structure of your statement. Namely, I read ‘Pansexual is not the same thing as bisexual except more sexual’ as ‘Pansexual is the same thing as bisexual except more sexual.’

          I’ll leave my original comment, though, as I feel I do make a good argument on the subject.

    • Tallinn

      That’s exactly what I wanted to ask too! that model is great and adorable… Would be very useful for explaining stuff to people…

    • Tel

      Consider me in favour of this — well almost. :P In the same way that gender, sex, and expression are three different things, people can be attracted to others based not only on gender and sex but expression as well, e.g. liking butch women. Just having romantic and sexual distinctions will be a good start, though, because asexuals etc. need more recognition.

    • Garrett Winters

      THANKS
      I’m an asexual heteroromantic, and that was an issue with me

    • Dani Rose

      Agreed!! :)

  • Nancy

    The Genderbread 2.0 looks great! What I miss from this version though is the definitions of each term you included in the first.

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  • http://genderandsexualityawareness.tumblr.com/ Cody Tedford

    While I’m not sure if this would be part of what you’d like to include in your model, you could cover some of the self-identification used by kinky people. In particular you could consider including the “dominant” and “submissive” scales for sexuality, or possibly even sub-scales under attraction? Another way to expand your model, mentioned by Nimisha and maybe other commenters would be to distinguish between types of attraction (especially romantic and sexual).

  • Felicity

    I like this version much better, especially the “attracted to” bit. It works way better for nongendered people to describe sexuality in terms of “attracted to” rather than on a “homosexual/heterosexual” scale.

  • Liz

    Could you change attracted to “sexually attracted”  http://www.asexuality.org/home/overview.html 

  • http://crissa.twu.net/ Crissa

    I like the older one.  Amplitude is not the same as two planets.  Also, clarity, the first one had less words, which meant it was easier to read.

    But thank you for doing it!

    • Tara Michele

      I would agree … I like the first model better. The more you try to add to your model, the more specifics, the more examples, the more problems and confusion it will generate. The explanation in the first model was sufficient, without creating confusion over various “a-” terms.

      • http://crissa.twu.net/ Crissa

        On the other hand, sometimes it’s important to illustrate how much fiddly space and complexity there is. So there’s that.

  • MK

    This is fabulous.  Since I’ve learned more about myself, I’ve been wrestling with how to accurately describe how I fit into all these categories.  This makes it easier.  As someone who is married but asexual, I agree with the comment that separating out romantic attraction and sexual attraction would be helpful.  For the comment that said that Agender and Nongendered should be switched on the Identity and Expression sliders, I agree with what you said.  Your take is slightly more instinctual use of the language, but then like you, the more I ponder it, the harder it is for me to see the difference in the two words.  Just minor tweaks.  :)  Overall this is a great and helpful tool!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3YCXHQMKIYVZRM57FG36JT5SUY Charlie

    Sam, can you please not flip-flop the gender spectrum labels as you go down through the Gender Identity/Gender Expression/Biological Sex/Attracted to list? It would make the graphic communicate more effectively because the viewer could then assume the top spectrum will always relate to (F) and the bottom spectrum will always relate to (M). I think it would make your wonderful graphic easier to comprehend. As a veteran graphics professional, I applaud this work. I think the first graphic was amazing and you probably changed a lot of things for a lot of people! The new one is improved, but I wanted to give, what I believe to be, effective, constructive feedback to further empower your work.

    • mdak06

      I second this – it is, IMO, a bit needlessly confusing. Whether the first one listed is the “male” or “female” side is, of course, irrelevant – but keeping them in the same order throughout will help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zestyping Ka-Ping Yee

    “Attracted to” needs six arrows, to match the other six arrows. :)

  • Chole Bartholomew

    I’d just like to comment that many asexual people ARE attracted to others, especially in the way that is generally associated with the heart.  Instead, the desire to have sex is just not present.  Other than that, it’s awesome!

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  • gvb3

    Just attended the Trans Health Conference in Philadelphia. GPv@google-81f6978a0efe3f08cd68c8fff3b57087:disqus 
     came up, and what most people thought was: Pro: It is awesome that this tool exists to educate and express. Con: The binary system continues to plague us and our minds.

    • Tel

      Yup. I hope that version 3.0 includes a third scale for gender.

  • http://seth-vs-world.tumblr.com/ Seth

    “Agender” is typically a gender identity and not a gender expression. Try “gender neutral” instead.

    A problem with the gender identity scales– it seems really great except for one thing: what if someone identifies as an entirely separate gender other than female and male? They’d have no way to express that because their male-ness and their female-ness would both be very low, but they wouldn’t be agender.

    I second the idea to make romantic and sexual attraction separate.

    Also, I don’t think pansexuals are accurately represented, as are people who are attracted to any non-binary people. I’m pansexual, and being attracted to men/male-ness/masculinity and women/female-ness/femininity doesn’t fully represent me because it doesn’t include people who don’t fit in those categories.

    What about people who are attracted to female-ness in men or male-ness in women? Maybe the attraction category should be expanded to have separate sliders for attraction to gender expression and identity.

    The sex category is terrible. And I’m not quite sure how to fix it– sex is a very tricky thing when we start to label it.

    First of all, people with vaginas can label themselves as male, and people with penises can label themselves as female. The sliders shouldn’t be labeled female-ness and male-ness.

    For example, I’m a guy and I have a vagina. I’m not a “female man”. I’m a male man. Calling me female would be denying me the ability to identify with my body. Whenever people say that something for vagina-owners is for “female-bodied people”, it makes me extremely dysphoric.

    Also, sex doesn’t only include what your genitals look like. It also includes the shape of your chest, how hairy you are, your hormone levels, your chromosomes, where the fat in your body goes, how deep your voice is, and TONS of other stuff. People may not have all of these things line up into either stereotypically male or female.

    The “self IDed female/self IDed male” thing is messed up because it makes trans* seem different in a way that they aren’t– everyone self-identifies with their sex unless they don’t. It has little to do with trans*-ness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/elsie.broek Elsie Broek

      I find it problematic as well. I consider myself “Pansexual” but for me it’s the closest fit to “attracted to the person/personality”. The scale misses the point.

  • flyermaria

    A suggestion: Instead of using a ray to depict intensity, I think it would be more visually indicative to use a triangle ( < ) in the same way that many devices depict volume.  The  narrow point of the triangle would represent low intensity, while the opposite side would represent high intensity.

  • Melissa

    What a great resource. I am a professional counselor who would like to print this on a magnet or something to use to educate clients and the community. What are the terms of use?

  • Sofia Ben-Hur

    “I identify with a lot of what it means to be a woman. I’m sensitive, kind, familial, and I really like dark chocolate” …This kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like it enforces the gender binary, like a lot. I don’t personally have a solution for reconciling the problematic-ness of the gender binary with the fact that people should have the right to identify as a gender and behave in the way they believe is according. But saying that women are emotional and that they like chocolate certainly doesn’t help anything. I certainly don’t want to be transphobic or queerphobic or invalidate anyone’s gender identity, but I just want to say that as a woman I feel alienated when someone defines a certain set of behaviors as “womanly”.

  • Haley

    Overall, this is a very good visual explanation. However, I do have 3 issues with it. Firstly, I think there could be a better word to be used for gender identity than “woman-ness” and “man-ness”…for some reason, this just doesn’t ring right with me. Secondly, I think there should be a differentiation between sexual orientation and romantic orientation. I believe this has already been brought up, so I don’t think I need to repeat what has already been said. Finally, I think there should be a third ray for Gender Identity that shows “third gender” or “other gender”…because there are people who feel they are of a gender other than male or female. Also, people can feel like they are male and a third gender, female and a third gender, or maybe all three. I must say that, with these changes, I think this could revolutionize our society’s perception of these things.

  • Michael Alexander

    I’m a big fan of this and it seems like it’s been really helpful for lots of people, even though I agree with several of the critiques posted in the comments here as well. I’ve shown this post to a few people who are interested in using it as part of the educational materials in the classes they teach. Could you email me at ftmichael at gmail dot com and let me know if it’s okay to do this? They’d ideally make it a part of their materials to be reused continually over time, rather than just once for just one class. It would contain credit and the URL for the original post, of course.

    Let me know – hopefully we can spread this even further and educate all the more people with it. :) Thanks so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emma.pm.7 Emma P-m

    This is pretty good, but I feel it’s still missing some stuff. However, I would first like to thank you for making a second version. I felt that although the first graphic tried to explain this whole complicated thing, it still wasn’t very accurate (the people over at Dear Cissexism wrote a very interesting criticism of it, I can’t find a way to link it though.)
    Gender Identity: I like the sliders you used on it, my favorite part is that the “man” example does include some “woman-ness.” However, I don’t like that it portrays gender identity as made up of any combination of male/female, (but including none of either was a nice step.) I think a separate slider is needed for third-gender folks, and maybe you could do several sliders behind the third (labeled 4th, 5th, ect) to show infinite sliders of gender identity “components” that are neither male nor female. The use of “man-ness” and “woman-ness” bothers me a bit too, but I don’t know what
    could be done about it.
    Gender expression seems pretty good to me, but I think “agender” needs to be addressed, I saw it mentioned in one of the comments below.
    Biological Sex: I find the self-ID labels problematic because they imply that while some “are” male and/or female, others just identify as male and/or female, which in turn implies that they are not really male/female because they self-identify.
    Attracted To: I see a couple issues here. I think you can split this into romantic vs sexual attraction, or *specify* sexual attraction instead of just attraction. Another suggestion: “and/or” in place of the slashes, or a note that says / means and/or. I also think that it needs more arrows/sliders, perhaps done in the same style as I suggested for the Gender Identity category.

    I think it would be very hard to try and fit this into one graphic, so I have an idea. Change some of it to make a new Genderbread, but also make it some kind of interactive thing. The one aspect of the old genderbread I liked was (were?) the definitions for sex, gender, ect. So I think that those could be included in mouseovers or links. For things requiring more elaboration, maybe an option to “zoom in” on that particular area for an expanded, more correct diagram. It sounds like a pain to code, so maybe as a temporary solution you could create a blog post with the new genderbread (with stuff like “agender” corrected) at the top, and then each of the “zoomed in” parts (separate graphics about the more complicated stuff in each of the catagories.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/emma.pm.7 Emma P-m

      /end giant wall of text.

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  • Manni

    I am completely baffled by that diagram. Completely and utterly.

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  • Lee Allard

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this already but in the attraction piece, you don’t differentiate between male and female and I wonder if this is on purpose – which if it is, i am having a hard time wrapping my head around – on the other hand, I know that if you did differentiate, it would impossible to include all gender identities and/or expressions. So for example, In the gay icon you have the stars placed further to the right on the masculine line and futher to the left on the feminine side leading one to assume this is depicting a person who mostly identifies a male – but this needs to be assumed by the person reading the diagram and therefore can lead to confusion.
    Also, because you only have one ‘gay’ diagram – one that depicts a gay man – then that leaves out female oriented people who also identify as gay…
    do you see where I’m headed? does this make sense or am I missing something altogether??

    • Snoweh

      I’m presuming that one is meant to read the attraction definitions in relation to how someone fills out the rest of the genderbread person in regards to how they identify in terms of gender. Would you prefer if it used terms such as “androsexual/philic”, “gynesexual/philic” & “skoliosexual/philic”? (As Sam discusses in http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/02/sexual-orientation-for-the-genderqueer/) Thus removing the need to reference the subject’s gender at all.
      However this then becomes inaccessible to the lay person that Sam is aiming this graphic at educating. By utilising terms they are already familiar with, the genderbread person allows them to start grasping the complex subject of gender and attraction, where as with alien terminology you’ve lost them before you’ve even begun.
      Where as if you’re using the genderbread person with people already possessing a basic understanding of gender variance then you can replace the terms “gay” and “straight” with the ones I suggested above without removing the effectiveness. Perhaps with beginners a better solution is to start by utilising the familiar terms, and then once they’ve come to understand the graphic, to add an addendum introducing the preferable terminology to them.
      I also believe that the genderbread person is not meant to be a stand-alone explanation, but rather to facilitate discussion.

  • Sophie

    There are two issues I personally have with v2.0.
    Firstly, two examples you give are bisexuality and pansexuality. Whilst I agree and know that people identify as both of these things (personally I identify as pansexual) the examples you give are strikingly similar and in my opinion, inacurate. As your scales imply an intesity of expression, your definitions would imply that a pansexual is simply somebody who is bisexual but has more intense feelings. I’m not sure that pansexualism is something that can acurately be esxpressed on these scales. Or perhaps i am mis-reading it.

    Secondly, I think that the biological sex scales, whilst a nice attempt to explore the complexity that is biological sex, it actually confuses issues more. The expression of biological sex on an anatomical and biochemical level is a vastly complictaed subject. The scale does acknowlage that a person could have for example, female sexual anatomy they can also have hormone levels that are more male, or a pelvic shape that is more male. Appreciating this from the scale an understanding the implications of being on different parts of the scale are difficult for people without a sound understanding of human biology, beyond what most people learn in high school. The scale is therefore confusing, and mixes the issues of biological sex and the person’s own apreciation of their biological sex.

    • Jill

      First off, all and all, i would like to say very well done! The roles of gender and sexuality are incredibly complicated, and i would like to congratulate your work in, at the very least, creating a simple place to begin. Honestly, the Genderbread alone (with the biological/identity/attraction/expression areas differentiated) is a WONDERFUL place to begin for persons (i’m thinking especially of families/parents…especially mine, hah..) who may have NO clue how these terms are used.

      I do have to agree, however, that the biological sex scales are somewhat confusing to the reader. I am a medical professional and, while i understand the nuances of biological sex/sex organ development/hormone dominance or balance, i think the confusion stemmed from the chosen terminology: specifically “female self ID” and “male self ID”. By utilizing the “self ID” term, it blurs the line between biological sex and “identity”–which, I assume, is not the desired effect.

      At the risk of making this too simplified (but also realizing that many people have a limited knowledge of biological sexes different from male, female, mix) it might be helpful to use a few more words in this section to help solidify adequate interpretation. Using the terms “XX” and “XY” and “XXY” (other variations)…or “____ reproductive organs” with “_____ dominant hormones”… etc.

      I also realize that this is a tool for understanding/communication, such that the Genderbread does not have to define all possibilities…but I do think that by trying to keep the “biological sex” defined in biologically recognizable terms, the confusions between sex and gender might be minimized.

      All in all, though, VERY WELL done. Seriously!!!!

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  • row_your_boat

    hi so im doing a presentation with a group for a womens gender class and my group chose to talk about the genderbread person. i never really heard about it until last week so i was wondering how i could explain and present the “attracted to” section without sounding too confusing

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  • Selvi

    I reaaaaally like that the new genderbread person is not on a continuum like the other one. It highlights that female/feminine and male/masculine traits develop independently and don’t have to be mutually exclusive. However, I liked that the other one explained what each aspect was, I felt it was more instructive. And in the previous model and in this one, bisexuality and pansexuality seem to be the same thing. How would you differentiate?

  • http://twitter.com/aravain aravain

    My only major problem with this model (which I LIKE, btw, as an introduction) is that it doesn’t account for attraction that does not take gender into account. It is either “nobody” or “masculine” and/or “nobody” or “feminine.” What if I’m only sexually attracted to personality, regardless of gender? Putting a slider up on either pole is disingenuous at best; it suggests an attraction to gender.

    By the same token, taking away the “nobody” erases asexuality.

    So I think there’s something to be tweaked here. For the life of me I can’t figure out HOW without losing the simplicity and gaining a need for too much explanation.

    • Cast

      Well if you just specify the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction, then you get rid of that issue. You can show put the slider for romantic attraction at 0 to get aromantic and put the sexual attraction sliders to 0 for asexual. I mean there should be two different sliders for them since I mean… They’re two different things.

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  • Coeur Deux

    We would like to include your genderbread person with our holiday cards. I think it will help explain in a fun way, why my 8 year old son looks like a girl in the photo. ;) Please let me know if this isn’t ok! Thanks for making our lives a bit easier.

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  • Jerome

    I prefer this version of the visual aid, but it still does not quite fit a number of people who, like me, find the whole question of “where do you fit?” a bit puzzling. Of course, these people are probably under-represented in the public of this blog, since by definition it is outside their centers of interest.

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  • Ginny

    Hi, This is great ! But it would more intuitive if female and male were always in the same position from one diagram to the other (ie, Female always on the first line and Male always on the second, for example).

  • hiball

    u r a loser lololol

  • Cast

    They should take the “gender” our of “gender expression”. It’s unfair to link expression to gender. There are boys who dress “like girls” and girls who dress “like boys” and they’re just dressing like themselves so why would you call that “like a girl” or “like a boy”? It’s like saying a lesbian is “sexually oriented like a boy”.
    Actually, I would say expression is even less tied to gender than orientation. Or at least more easily alienated. Cuz expression differs so much person-to-person, even within genders. It’s not even an expression of one’s gender. It’s just an expression of themselves.
    Just another way the gender binary reigns supreme.

  • Cast

    I’d like to point out that this thing is pretty much entirely inaccurate.

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  • Lee

    i would suggest changing “two-spirit”, perhaps to “bigender”, since two-spirit is not a universal term. it’s something that gets appropriated quite a bit these days & using it with the rest of the labels (which are more universal) seems to encourage that appropriation.

  • Feminist Mutfak

    Hi Sam, We love your work and we transleted to Turkish: http://feministmutfak.com/2013/03/24/toplumsal-cinsiyet-kurabiye-tarifi/ We hope you like. Thank you and loves from Turkish Feminist Activists.

  • Marv

    I would love to see it say “gender” instead of “identity”. As a transman I get that it is the same thing, but I don’t think the general public will get it.

  • Jordi

    A friend of mine just pointed out that does not cover asexuality

  • anole

    THIS IS SO GREATTTTTTT!!!!

  • Guest

    love this. one suggestion: it’s possible in the attraction continuum to be attracted to persons other than biologically male or female. you can be attracted to trans men or women exclusively, or trans in combo with either cis men, women, or both.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.couapel Eric Couapel

    Great … just waiting 3.0 version, adding Zebras peoples ;)

    Wob’

    (In french :)
    http://www.zebrattitude.blogspot.fr/
    http://www.zebrascrossing.net/

    (in english … dunno – i’m french ^^’)

  • kathe Michael

    It looks like this has been up for a while, but I’m not seeing a .pdf option — are you still waiting on feedback before making a printer-friendly version available, or am I just not seeing the link? Would love to share this!

  • lils

    Thanks for making this! As far as feedback, I think its still very connected to the binary (it would be great to have many lines beyond M/F)
    But most importantly, I would really love for the graphic to not have sex associated with genitals – I think it reinforces an anti-trans narrative (specifically that people aren’t *really* a certain sex until after surgery, and that surgery being bottom surgery), when, as other folks have talked about in the comments, there’s lots of different things that go into a person’s sex. I’ll second the other comments about “female self ID” not really making sense either (because if someone’s a female self-ID then they are female… most cis-women are female self-ID and they probably don’t look like the example of where the stars are)..

  • Tammy Shannen Veatch

    Hi, I am currently working on creating an LGBTQ+ resource desk at my college, for our ALLY club. I fully intend to post this ~ I love that it gives a visual representation so others can better understand those of us who are not hetero-normative. TY!!

  • http://twitter.com/MillardKinnison Millard Kinnison

    Yep, lets point this at vulnerable children. As if they don’t have enough on their plate, sexist idiots have to come up with this kind of crap to really screw up a kids brain. Kids are born either male or female. Get used to the idea. The idea of even telling a child they are both male and female is so far fetched, it would take an alien with no brains to come up with that. I reckon that mean libterds are aliens because they really don’t care about children….just screwing up their brain. I would be more than happy to help liberals get to their own island where they can live however they want without messing with normal people. Nope, libs are not normal….not even close.

    • redmingum

      because lets face it every culture everywhere and every when has decide men and women are different and ascribed exactly the same behavior roles to them…. i mean imagine if women got the idea they could or should vote or heaven forbid start wearing trousers.

      The problem is their are not and never have been two nicely separated sexes, their are people born xo, xx, xy, xxx, xxy, etc etc, a basic psychology or biology text of gender will accept this and quite often provide the picture evidence taken by scientist (questionable i know why they’d need to show people pictures). There only being two genders as nice boxes falls down from it’s ivory tower once it’s biological foundation are examined. Then to make matters worse what we claim is male and female differs over time and culture, so even if there are only two genders lets face it we’re making them up as we go along.

      • http://twitter.com/MillardKinnison Millard Kinnison

        Bullhockey!! There’s only two genders…male and female. Anything else is a lie and make believe. This is why the homosexual brain is so unstable….it’s unable to discern the difference between a rectum and vagina.

        • redmingum

          So if you believe in more than two genders your brain is homosexual?

          I note the lack of dispute their are various sexes just the fact they all fit into two gendered boxes, one of which you claim is determined by having a rectum the other a vagina, unless I follow your argument wrongly.

    • Lereko_Fatwgo

      No one’s telling kids who to be. They’re saying everyone’s different, and it’s ok to be different. You’re the one putting labels on kids, and screwing them up. You’re no one to tell kids who they are.

      • Millard Kinnison

        Wrong again as usual. Queers are screwing our childrens brain. You want to take out your brain and play with it…..fine. LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE!

        • Lereko_Fatwgo

          I pity your children, if you have them.

          • Millard Kinnison

            My children are doing just fine. At that they are not being brain-washed by a bunch of leftist idiots who are nothing more than government stoolies. Queers don’t have kids…..and the one’s the do have are just as f’ed in the head as they are. Get used to the truth.

          • Lereko_Fatwgo

            Again, I really pity them. You don’t even know what the Left is.

          • Millard Kinnison

            I know all about the leftist idiots. You are one of such. No brains, can’t think for yourself and can only do what you are told to do like the perfect little slave you have become. Some of us are smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong. Leftist idiots have no clue. Some have woke up to reality (these don’t bother me) but its people like you who worry me. Oh, and DON’T EVER fuck with my grandkids. Watching you hurt won’t bother me in the least. Ponder that for awhile.

          • NINJA_PUNCH

            A veteran calling someone else a “government stoolie”… irony has been achieved.

  • http://twitter.com/gnu_andrew Andïï

    Would it not be simpler to just provide the first six dimensions again for attractiveness? The examples given are a little confusing, especially as you don’t know the gender of the person making the choices, which affects simple labels like “straight” or “gay”.

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  • Marsha Paige

    Hey, So I’ve thought about things like this for more than a quarter century now, and I haven’t read through all the comments or anything so I’m sorry if I am repeating something already said…

    In my version of a diagrammatic explanation of these points many years ago… I chose, as far as sexuality was concerned, to describe the points not in the subjective but in object-orientation… so a person (as opposed to a male or female, it’s both simplifying as well as more inclusive) is either … androphilic or gynophilic to describe those attracted to males or females respectively. So not thinking of Hetro or Homosexuality, but to who am I attracted, no matter who I may be.

    Of course there are also other possibilities such as aphilic panphilic autophilic etc. Just my 2 cents. :)

  • Dani Rose

    I think you are awesome! Awesome marketing, website, and info-graphics to send an AWESOME message! We need more of this! :)

  • Edgar

    I’ll translate for presentation before a Hispanic audience, I hope that does not affect the final message. I will use these words in Spanish: “varon / hembra” to biological sex, “masculino / femenino” for gender identity and “masculinidad / feminidad” for gender expression. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Mayumi

    Isn’t asex in the wrong place? Asexuality isn’t about biological sex, or does it mean something else in this context?

    • Brian Bartholomew

      It is in the right place.

      Asexuality deal with desire to have sex.

      You can have straight male that does not have any desire to have sex. Same with a gay male, best example is Tim Gunn, he just lost the desire to have sex.

      Asexuality does have different level of desire to have sex that depend on the relationship.

  • Eric

    Very nice piece of work indeed! I just wish e could be attracted to masculine women or feminine men. I think that could be possible. Of course, e is your creation, but I can’t help thinking Genderbread Person is somehow a metaphor for humanity.

  • Patrick

    Interesting and educational however I’m deeply disappointed that you seem to be unaware of how offensive the term “genderqueer” is. It’s upsetting when someone sets out to teach but ends up teaching and perpetuating ignorance and intolerance.

    • gq

      Actually, the genderqueer people I know (including myself) use that term to describe themselves: people who, for whatever reason, don’t fall neatly into a gender binary, but who don’t consider themselves trans, or gay. This is the first time I’ve heard that the term is taken to be offensive, and I would love to understand why?

  • Bud

    Write all the words you want about it but if you are going to talk the talk be ready to walk it also!!!

  • Seamus

    Too bad you plagarized this from Just Communities Centeral Coast, who came up with it in 2005.
    Give credit where credit is due!

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  • Sean

    With being in Medical School it’s sad that none of this information is based off of real and proven evidence, and is just theory and opinion. Because of this it shouldn’t be taught to children or college students as fact. Really it is completely a psychological issue that has nothing to do with how the human body really is or functions.

  • kritikisto

    I like it.

    Questions: What about other aspects of sexual desire, such as polyamory and various paraphilias, such as zoophilia, pedophilia, and sadomasochism? Do they belong on the chart? Also, you pair gender identity with gender expression, but there is no “expression” to go along with “attraction.” What people actually do is at least as important as what’s going on in their heads.

    Comment: It seems like we need additional language. You talk about at least four different categories of self — gender identity, gender presentation, biological sex, and sexual desire — but you use “gender” as a master category to describe them all. Is that reasonable? I think you’re talking about sex, gender, and sexuality (which I see as encompassing both desire and behavior).

  • MaRtham

    What about trying to depict these things in a geometric for, like a triangle, instead of lines? I am not so well versed in these issues, I loved your cookie, but I still don’t see the continuum flowing here. And… If you have time, I’d love to hear/ get more references on why heterosexual is still called “straight” when we know that gay does not equal “twisted/ deviated”. I know, words, but they are sych a powerful construct… Thanks for the insight!

    • kritikisto

      Not with 4-dimensions. We’re not very good at perceiving 4-dimensional objects, especially when they’re depicted on a 2-dimentional page or screen.

  • Erica Cook

    As a pagan I consider gender by the triangle. There’s sole, body, spirit, as you say; head, attraction, sex. You have expression, but I would consider that the presentation of the three so though its not said its there. As I say people fit within the male/female man/woman masculine/feminine and through life one of the two, or a balance between the tow fit within the aspect of who we are. I would say I am a mostly masculine, female woman being quite butch but with some interests that fit within the concept of women’s interests. All identities are valid, all shapes have purpose in the world, and all are good. I think you’re gingerbread person shows that in a way people can understand.

  • Patrick Bahls

    Brilliant. Students in my college course “Cultivating Global Citizenship” used the model in a 2.5-hour workshop on diversity and inclusion which they delivered for students and faculty at my university, and it spurred fantastic conversation. When asked to apply the model to themselves, participants (including me!) reported learning so much about their own sexuality. It was enlightening and liberating. Very well done. Thank you!

  • Mina

    Sam, I just read your book, and I was impressed by your empathic way of writing. Chapeau! As a social psychologist I made it my mission to break the dichotomous assessment of gender, and to disentangle three of the concepts you write about: gender identity, gender expression and biological sex. Unfortunately in social psychological research it still seems like being non-cis-gender is seen as a pathology. Time for a change!

    I really like your second version of the genderbread person for a start, but did you already develop a scale with actual items (questions which can be scored say from 1-7) assessing these three concepts? Please say you did, and I can use it for my upcoming research ;)

  • Lereko_Fatwgo

    Is there a way we can translate this to other languages?

  • Sam

    I think you probably need to separate romantic and sexual attraction because they are not the same thing.

  • Daniel

    I disagree with this in most aspects. Having a brain type which is more common in women doesn’t make the brain a ‘woman’s brain’, because that brain still belongs to a man. I have a brain structure that’s more common in women, but I’m still a man because my DNA has made me so – I’m just a unique man. Same concept with gender expression. Expression is expression. Certain forms of expression are more common in men than women and vice versa but the expression itself is genderless/sexless. Brains and expression are NOT for label and stereotypes.

  • Nicola M. Costello

    Sex = gender. Yes, I’m a troll. This is my one post. Sex = gender. Good bye.

  • Man

    This is seriously disturbing.

  • Larry

    I found this by accident and at great risk will give my opinion here. God created Adam first then God knew that it was not good for Adam to be alone… So he took a rib from Adam and created a woman (Eve). God said it was good, male and female to come together as one.. This was the first marriage ordained by God. They come together as one flesh and produced children and were a family.

    Adam and Eve later sinned which brought the sin nature upon us all. The wages of sin are death. One of the greatest sins is the sin of homosexuality which is an nomination to God and his Creation!! It is condemned in both the Old and New Testament so there is not question!!

    As we are now getting into the last days mankind and sin is abounding in all directions. It is time now to repent and get saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before it is to late!!

    • NINJA_PUNCH

      Why did you feel the tell us that YHWH condemns homosexuality in both the old and new testaments of the Bible? After all YHWH himself tells us that he doesn’t change in Malachi 3:6. So clearly if it was bad in the old testament, it’s still bad in the new testament, right?

      YHWH wouldn’t declare that he loves those who love him (Proverbs 8:17) but declare that his followers must love those who hate them (Matthew 5:44), right? He wouldn’t command that a man be stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-26) and then turn around and command that those who are without sin should cast the first stone (John 8:7), right? He most certainly wouldn’t order the death of children, and command that pregnant women be cut open and their unborn children killed (Hosea 13:16) but then turn around and command that people ought to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39), right?

      Obviously if he did any of these things, it would mean that YHWH is inconsistent in his policies (as I’ve included the verses, I hope that this is beyond question). If YHWH is inconsistent or changes, then he must be a liar for claiming not to change. Clearly if YHWH is a liar, yet commands that people not lie as one of his “ten commandments” then he is unable to live up to his own standard of perfection, and so he is imperfect and is himself a sinner. Therefore, if YHWH is a sinner – as we have established – then he is either unworthy to condemn us for failing to live up to those standards which he has also failed to live up to; or he must judge himself by the same rule he uses to judge us, and must similarly condemn himself to an eternity in hell for his own sins.

      Further, as YHWH is clearly a hell bound sinner; and as Jesus stated in no uncertain terms that that YHWH is perfect (Matthew 5:48), then Jesus is also a liar and thus he is also a hell bound sinner. Because Jesus was a sinner, it follows by definition that he was not perfect. Because Jesus’ sacrifice hinged upon him being a perfect sacrifice, his imperfection proves that his sacrifice was in vain. Therefore the Bible itself proves that Jesus is not your savior. Believing in him will do nothing for you.

      Safety and Peace

  • short break

    Many many thanks to you for this great share.

  • Jeremy Deerheim

    Excellent discussion, everyone.
    I just want to say you all have some of the best grammar I have seen on a message board. Also, very respectful and polite. Kudos.

  • ryan

    Don’t think being sensitive or kind is a strictly female trait.

  • NINJA_PUNCH

    I would say that you lost one huge advantage of the original genderbread person. The original had definitions of terms, and examples of those definitions. As it currently stands, if I want to use v2.0 I have to have the original opened in another window so I can use the uni-directional scales while still having access to what’s being defined by each scale.

  • Joe

    I think we should treat mental illness as what it is. If some one is wandering the streets claiming to be Jesus, we don’t ask everyone to accept them as such.

  • justMe

    It’s a lovely concept. I think, though, that some of your binaries (degree of maleness arrow AND degree of femaleness arrow) are redundant. Let me change that to one: gender expression. In a world where everything is genderized, you can’t project neither male nor female. At best you can project equal quantities of both, but I think everything is interpreted one way or another. Otherwise, yeah. Nice idea.

  • Adrian

    I like it, but the attraction part is fairly binary and I don’t agree with how you define pansexual (pansexuality, unlike bisexuality, has nothing to do with gender and instead just with the person you’re attracted to) therefore I think pansexuality doesn’t belong on this “attracted to” scale. That’s all.

  • Dr. Kofi Adoma

    I’d love to jump into this discussion if I
    could. I’ve coined the term “attractional orientation” for the very
    reason some of you are stating here. “Sexual orientation” fails to
    capture who people are (identity). But “attractional orientation”
    covers the gamut and conveys that attraction is more complex than who we go to
    bed with, while “sexual” orientation assumes strictly sexual
    attraction without regard to the rest of the attractions that might be taking
    place. When people marry, they don’t marry just because they’re sexually
    attracted to the person. They may be attracted on a social, emotional,
    physical, and spiritual level too. When we had crushes as children, we didn’t
    have to have sex to know which gender we were attracted to! So why not have a
    continuum for GP that’s labeled “Attractional Orientation” instead of
    Sexual Orientation. that’s my story and I”m stickin’ to it! :-) (so far I
    haven’t copyrighted the term)

    • Dr. Kofi Adoma

      I’ve used terms like attractionality, homoattractional, panattractional, biattractional, heteroattractional, a-attractional, etc. Terms like “homosexual” translate to mean “same sexual” which doesn’t make any sense. Plus this particular term was originated to pathologize a group of people weren’t considered “normal.” It’s time we stop reducing people to a behavior and have terms that affirm the wholeness of the individual.

  • Dr. Kofi Adoma

    I’ve also used the Klein grid and Shevely and DeCocco scales for educating. But I’ve often wondered if these scales could expand to include a continuum called Gender Expression Preference with Masculinity on one end and Femininity on the other. However, with your latest version, it might be better to put Gender Expression Preference on one end and Panattractional on the other. Just a thought. I’ve noticed that there are people who are ONLY attracted to masculine people and ONLY attracted to feminine people regardless of their attractional orientation.

  • Johney Duke

    These articles have got absolute sense devoid of confusing the
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    casting reviews

  • m4g

    I haven’t read the whole article or all the comments, but I’d like to say that it would be awesome to see a representation here of romantic attraction as a separate thing from sexual attraction. (If this was done it would be really important to talk about aromantic people that are not asexual) Also agender is a gender identity not a gender expression. And while I would have no problem with it, I’ve never heard of someone who identifies as genderless.

    • Casye

      Maybe not by that term, necessarily. Gender-neutral is the term I prefer, but I would say “genderless” is also an accurate way to describe my gender identity.